YOGA

When unconscious became conscious this is Samadhi

Yoga Philosophy of Jnaneshvara and Patanjali December 11, 2008


Yoga Philosophy of Jnaneshvara and Patanjali

by G. K. Pungaliya
President, Institute of Yoga and Allied Research, Pune, India

Two sources of ancient Indian thought are Vedas and Agamas. Even if the ultimate aim of both the systems was to attain liberation, or to experience the ultimate truth, or Brahman or Moksha or Nirvana, their teachings, ideologies and philosophies were different, on a number of basic issues and principles. Vedas and Upanishads presume, as is stated in Mahabharata (1) etc. that the originator of the science of the Yoga is Hiranyagarbha. The tradition of Agamas says that the author of this science of Yoga is Adinatha or Shiva or Shankara. Almost all these Agamas are written in the form of conversation between Parvati and Shankara. Patanjali is following the tradition of Upanishads. The philosophy behind Patanjali Darshana is that Sankhya, the Astanga Yoga which Patanjali propagated was in vogue several centuries before Patanjali (300 BC).

We get references of Astanga Yoga in a number of Upanishads such as Chandogya Upanishad, Sandilya Upanishad etc. Yajnavalkya explains this Yoga Philosophy to Gargi and other disciples exactly on the same lines as Patanjali does. (2) Yajnavalkya further states that this philosophy of Astanga Yoga was being learnt by him from his masters. This is an indication of the fact that the philosophy of Astanga Yoga is very ancient and was already in practice before Patanjali.

Hence, it is quite natural that whatever Patanjali has stated is on the basis of certain principles of Upanishads and the philosophy of Sankhya. Of course, Patanjali has his own contribution to Yoga Sutras. The concept of Ishvara, even if absent in Sankhya Darshana, has been defined by Patanjali as per PYS 1. 240. (3) However, he is having his own interpretation about this concept and it is not according to the established tradition. His Ishvara is not a creator but a person whose sins are destroyed. Patanjali’s concept of Ishvara is very near to Jain Darshana. (4)

Jnaneshvara, had altogether a different background. He was initiated as per the tradition of Nath Sampradaya. This philosophy is different from that of Patanjali’s Yoga Darshana. The basic principles of Yoga philosophy of Nath Panth, are stated in detail in various books such as Gorakshagita, Goraksha Paddhati, Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati, Amaraugha Sasana, Amaraugha Prabodha, Mahartha Manjari, Gheranda Samhita, etc., all written in Sanskrit. Hence, the Yoga Philosophy of Jnaneshvara is just like a mirror reflection of the Yoga Philosophy of Nath Panth. From this it is quite obvious that the original sources of philosophy of these two great saint philosophers and seers are quite different. Thus there is bound to be a major difference in their Yoga Systems. In this paper, therefore, I intend to point out certain outstanding differences in their Yoga Philosophies.

In the overall Yoga Philosophy, we find a number of branches, out of which the most popular now-a-days, in India and abroad, is the one which has been advocated by Patanjali and which is known as Astanga Yoga. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are translated in various languages and also a number of commentaries have been written on it. However, there are a number of other Yoga systems such as Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Laya Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga etc. Since this paper is intended for only the comparison between the Yoga of Jnaneshvara and Patanjali, I would restrict my scope to the comparison of philosophies of only these two masters.

The basic differences are as under:

1. Patanjali gives the system of Astanga Yoga per his Sutra No. 11. 29 (5) of Yoga Sutras. The Yoga System of Jnaneshvara is based on the principles of Hatha Yoga. Some of the scholars of this system are following Astanga Yoga. However, great Yogis such as Gorakshanath are following the system of Sadanga Yoga which has been stated by him in his book Goraksha Paddhati 1.7. (6) This System avoids Yamaand Niyama. The justification given by those Yogis is that if you obtain mastery in meditation, your whole lifestyle gets changed in such a way, that you automatically start following the Yama and Niyamawhich are the necessary rules and individual rules of conduct respectively. These six aspects of Yoga are:

Physical Postures
Pranayama
Pratyahara
Dharana
Dhyana
Samadhi

2. According to the Nath Cult it is most important that the aspirant should purify his body completely. This has been stated in detail in Gheranda Samhita l.10-11-12. (7) This is a total purification of all important and vital organs of the body such as stomach, small intestines, large intestines, nasal passage, food pipe, eyes, ears, throat, etc. After this the cult says that the aspirant is in a position to undertake all the steps of Yoga. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras this preparation of initial background is not mentioned.

3. The next step (in other Yoga systems) is the learning of physical postures. However, after learning all the important postures, the aspirant has to practise the most essential posture viz. Siddhasana or Vajrasana. For all the future Sadhanas this is considered to be the basic and important posture. The detailed description of this posture is given by Jnaneshvara in his sixth chapter of Jnaneshvari and also by a number of books of Nath Cult. They say that this posture is a must for all the aspirants. However, Patanjali says that you can sit in any convenient posture you like. Hence he gives the Sutra “Sthira-sukham asanam.”

4. The importance of a Guru or Master is maximum in Nath cult. Their every book or Shastra starts by remembering or bowing with great reverence and respect to the Guru Adinath or Shiva or Shankara. Jnaneshvari also starts like this by saying “Om Namoji Adya.” This importance is not given to Guru in Patanjala Yoga Darshana.

5. The Nath cult says that the human body consists of certain most essential centres or vital points and voids (Akasha). (8) Every aspirant has to know and understand these things. They say that one who is not aware of these essential centres is not a Yogi. They are six Chakras, sixteen vital points, two Laksyas (concentration points), five voids, all situated within the human body. Such type of discussion is not found in Patanjala Yoga Darshana.

6. Nath cult says that the human body is just like a beautiful house which is having nine doors. (9) It is formed out of five essential elements and each element is having its own deity. The nine openings are two eyes, two nostrils, two ear holes, mouth, excreta outlet, and sex organ. The deity of Earth is Brahma, of water is Vishnu, of fire is Rudra, of air is Ishvara and of space is Sadashiva. Every aspirant has to understand these things. In Patanjala Sutras we do not find this.

7. The Nath Panth, in their various books as mentioned above, gives a detailed description of the seven chakras, their exact location in the body, their properties and functions etc. Jnaneshvara has not given the description of these chakras for the reason that he wanted to restrict his interpretation to the verses of Bhagavad-Gita. At the base of the spinal cord and at the centre of the line which connects sex organ and the excreta outlet is situated the first chakra which is known as Muladhara Chakra. Slightly above the sex centre and below the naval centre the second chakra is situated which is known as Svadhisthana Chakra. The third is situated near the naval centre and is called Manipura.

The fourth one is situated near the heart centre and is known as Anahata Chakra. The fifth is situated at the throat centre and is known as Visuddha Chakra. It must be noted that all these chakras are situated in the Shushumna Nadi which passes through the spinal cord, which again passes through Vertebral Column. These are extremely subtle points and may not be structural and cannot be located by any sophisticated instrument available. These were actually ‘observed’ and seen by the great Rishis in the stage of Samadhi. Here come the limitations of modern science. The sixth chakra is situated on the forehead and between the centre of the two eyebrows. This is known as Ajna Chakra. The seventh and the last chakra is situated in the centre of the brain in its uppermost portion. Patanjali does not mention any such thing in his Yoga Sutras.

8. According to Nath Cult there are 72.000 nerves in the body of human beings. (10) Out of these ten Nadis are important. Out of these three are most important. They are known as Ida, Pingala and Shushumna. Ida is known as Chandra Nadi and is passing through the left side of the vertebral column. Pingala is known as Surya Nadi and is passing through the right side of the vertebral column. Shushumna Nadi is passing through the spinal cord and is known as Agni Nadi. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras do not mention all this. He does mention a few Nadis like Kurma Nadi. But the detailed description is absent.

9. The concept of Prana has been studied in maximum details in Nath Cult. They say that in the human body there are ten different types of air or Vayus (11), which are known as Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana, Vyana, Naga, Kurma, Krikala, Devadatta and Dhananjaya. Each one is situated in a specific part of the body. Each one is having specific purpose and function in the body. When we take the air inside our body, it gets bifurcated into ten branches. This is just like a stream of water which starts from the Himalayan Mountains and gets bifurcated into several branches and each branch becomes a river and is given a separate name. Present medical science is not in a position to locate these ten different types of airs. However, our ancient Yogis have actually ‘seen’ these different streams of air inside our body. This type of description is not found in Patanjala Sutras.

10. When we breathe in there is a subtle sound which is known as ‘So’ and when we breathe out there is a subtle sound which is known as ‘Ham’. (12) Everyone can experience this with slight practice. This sound of ‘Soham’ is continuously going on with every breathing. In a period of one day, that is twenty-four hours, we take 21.600 breathings. That means this type of sound which is known as Mantra, is being continued in our body for that many number of times (21.600). If the aspirant observes this mentally and consciously, this becomes a great Sadhana. This Sadhana is being given very great importance in the Nath Cult. This is not found in Patanjala Yoga Sutras (PYS).

11. The most important aspect of the Yoga Sadhana of Jnaneshvara is the activation of the Kundalini Shakti. This is a Tantric Sadhana of the Nath Cult. Jnaneshvara has given a detailed account of this process in his sixth chapter. This is a practical application of the philosophy of Nath Panth. They say that the whole universe is created out of the energy of Shiva or Mahashiva or Adinatha. They call it Shakti or cosmic energy. This energy is occupying the whole universe. The smallest portion of this energy is known as Kundalini, and the energy which is present in the entire universe is known as Maha Kundalini. This energy is present in human beings in potential form (Supta Shakti).

The Yogis who have experienced this energy, say that this is like a serpent and is situated at the end of the Shushumna Nadi in a coiled form, in three and a half coils, position. This also is in line with their philosophy which says “Bramhandi te Pindi”. This means that whatever exists in the universe also exists in the human being in the subtle form. Nath Cult and their great masters like Gorakshanath have devised various ways and means to activate this energy. Saint Jnaneshvara has described one method of activating this energy. This method has been stated in almost all the books of Hatha Yoga and Natha Panth and some Upanishads. The detailed description is available in the sixth chapter of Jnaneshvari. This energy can also be activated by Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. That is why we find in Jnaneshvari all these systems of Upasana.

The ultimate stage of realisation or Moksha as per this colt is the union of Shakti with Shiva. Hence the aspirant initiated in this cult has to activate this energy and allow this energy to go through all the six chakras gradually. The place of Shiva is considered to be in the last chakra which is known as Sahasrara. In the ultimate stage, Sadhaka has to transfer this energy to this last chakra. This is supposed to be the point of union of Shakti with Shiva. One who is successful in this process, is supposed to be a great Yogi. A number of spiritual powers known as siddhis are at his disposal in that stage. A number of examples are available in the ancient Shastras about the Yogis, who were successful in obtaining this highest stage. Jnaneshvara had experienced the above union with Shiva and hence he is known as Maha Yogi. In PYS we do not find anything about Kundalini Shakti.

12. In Nath cult there is a great importance of a Gun or Master. He is given the same importance as is given to their ultimate Guru Adinath. That is why Jnaneshvara is giving maximum importance to his Guru Nivrittinath and is mentioning his name in Jnaneshvari at a number of places. Not only that, he gives the entire credit of writing this book to Nivrittinath. Their philosophy says that the aspirant can get the ultimate experience of truth or Shiva only with the continuous guidance of Guru or the Master. We find that every book of Nath Panth starts after bowing to Guru.

13. In this cult we find a mystic and esoteric act of the transfer of spiritual energy from the master to the initiated aspirant and the act is known as Shaktipata. With the tremendous powers of the master, he can activate the Kundalini energy of the disciple. This transfer, he can do by touching a specific part of his body or simply by looking at him. This transfer of energy can be done on the aspirant who is at a great distance from the master. This is a peculiar mystical act. After the transfer of energy, the aspirant experiences a number of supernatural things, a tremendous flow (of liquid) light, etc. However, those scholars who are really anxious, should go through the book Awakening of Kundalini written by Pandit Gopi Krishna, who had undergone all these experiences before about twenty-five years in Kashmir. The concept of Shaktipata is not found in PYS.

14. This cult gives a great importance to the practice of certain physical postures known as Mudras. They are useful in meditation and also in the activation of Kundalini energy and the six chakras. Hence every aspirant has to learn these Mudras. The ancient texts say that such Mudras arc twenty-five. Out of these ten are most important. With the practice of Mudras the aspirant is in a position to get rid of any and every disease and can acquire a number of supernatural powers. Because of these multiple advantages, the aspirant is taught these postures and after he achieves this experience, he is taught Pranayama. Mudras arc nowhere mentioned in PYS.

15. There is a difference between the Dhyana-meditation of Patanjali and Jnaneshvara. Patanjali gives the definition of Dhyana as per Sutra No. III.1 and III 2 which are as under. The aspirant has to concentrate on specific or vital part of the body or on some external point. This process is known as Dharana. When the aspirant gets success in the concentration on that particular point, for a sufficiently long time, it becomes a Dhyana. For the concentration on that particular point, the aspirant has to use his mind. However, in Kundalini Yoga, the aspirant has not to use his mind at all. He has to practise Kumbhaka, wherein the function of mind totally stops. Instead of concentrating on any particular point, the aspirant has to activate the Kundalini energy. This is a much superior way. This opinion has been confirmed by Sir John Woodroffe, in his book The Serpent Power on page No. 314 and 315 of the eleventh edition, which the learned scholars and philosophers can refer to any time.

16. Patanjali gives a broad division of Samadhi, which is termed as SamprajnataSamadhi and Asamprajnata Samadhi. However, the stage of Samadhi has been studied in details by the Nath cult and which is followed by Jnaneshvara in toto. Nath cult has categorised Samadhi in six types which are known as I ) Dhyana Yoga Samadhi, 2) Nada Yoga Samadhi, 3) Rasananda Yoga Samadhi, 4) Laya yoga Samadhi, 5) Bhakti Yoga Samadhi, and 6) Raja Yoga Samadhi. How each Samadhi can be experienced is also discussed in details. Scholars and philosophers can refer chapter seven of Gheranda Samhita which gives the entire description.

To conclude, I would like to state that both these systems of Yoga are different. The reason is obvious. Their philosophical base is altogether different. That is why the Yoga of Nath Panth accommodates Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Mantra Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga. This Yoga Philosophy is therefore multi-dimensional. Besides the results here are very fast. This has been promised by Gorakshanath in his book. However, it is advisable that the practices of this Yoga should be undertaken under an able and experienced master. To end the paper, I would like to quote the verse No. IV.114 (13) from Hatha Yoga Pradipika. It says that till you are not in a position to activate the Kundalini energy, till you are not in a position to have perfect control over your pranic force, till you are not in a position to clear the path of Shushumna Nadi, all your knowledge is external, futile and full of ego. It is only an exercise of talking and nothing else. Hence he says that this is a process which has to be experienced only.

References:

Jnanesvari by Sakhare Maharaj.
Goraksa-paddhati by Gorakshanath.
Gheranda Samhita – Commentary by Shree Swamiji Maharaj.
Hatha-yoga-Pradipika by Shree Swatmarama Yogi
Patanjala Yoga (Sutra) Pradipa by Swami Omananda Tirtha.
Patanjala Yoga Darsana by K.K. Kolhatkar
Yoga Yajnavalkya
Siddha-Siddhanta-Paddhati by Gorakshanath
Shiva-Samhita – Commentary by Dr. K.R. Joshi

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32 Responses to “Yoga Philosophy of Jnaneshvara and Patanjali”

  1. COMPREHENSIVE VIEW OF SCIENCE OF RELIGION (THEOLOGY)

    I have written following two papers which may lead to the realization for a higher theory of everything:

    (i) Gravitation Force is the Ultimate Creator,
    (1st Int. Conf. on Revival of Traditional Yoga, Lonavla Yoga Institute, Lonavla, January, 2006)
    (ii) In Scientific Terminology, Source of Gravitational Wave is God
    (2nd World Congress on Vedic Science, BHU, Varanasi, Feb 2007)
    I have presented these two papers at the two different International Conferences. I am now submitting some views for being considered for Unified Field Theory

    From Scriptures:
    The Current which manifested in the beginning of the creation is the Current of Sabda (Sound) and of Chaitanya (Consciousness). From whom that Current issued forth is known as Soami (Supreme Being). This Current, by turning back can merge again in the Holy Feet of Supreme Being. The entire creation manifested from this current and is sustained with its energy and when the Current of the Holy Feet is withdrawn, the creation ceases to exist.This Current of the Holy Feet is the Reservoir of all energy, tastes and pleasures, knowledge, skill, shapes, forces and light etc. etc. and of the entire creation, is also the Creator of all of them.

    From Science:
    Gravitation Force is the cause of manifestation of the creation (birth of planets, stars), its sustenance and when it is withdrawn towards centre or source the entire creation ceases to exist. Photons have originated from gravitons. In black holes photons merge into gravitons. In Black Holes, Gravitational Force is so high that it does not allow even light to escape. What does it mean then? It simply means that the gravitational force at black-holes attracts light towards it with much greater velocity than the speed of light. In fact, all forces including electromagnetic force, material force (strong and weak nuclear force) all merge into gravitational force in black-holes and becomes one force there and when the creational process starts again from a Black-Hole all the forces appear (manifest) again and descends downwards to create billions of stars, planets, satellite, asteroids and various life forms.

    Hence it can be assumed that the Current of Chaitanya (Consciousness) and Gravitational Wave are the two names of the same Supreme Essence (Seed) which has brought forth the entire creation.

    All cosmological researches should be conducted keeping in view of the following philosophical facts:
    It has been stated in Bible (John I-1) “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,”
    Mohammedans hold that God uttered ‘Kun’ (i.e. ‘Came into being’) and the creation came into being (Holy Quran, Sur. Bakr (II.117).
    In Chhandogya Upanishad it is written “Tadaikshat bahu syam prajayeyeti” (VI-2-iii) i.e. “It thought (desired) Would that I were many! Let me procreate myself!” The Aitareya Upanishad says,”Sa ikshat ‘lokannusrija’ iti (I-1-i) i.e. “He bethought himself (desired) – ‘Let me create worlds’, etc. etc.
    It is written in Chapter VII of Srimad Bhagavadgita : Sri Bhagwan said, “Arjun, now listen how with the mind attached to Me and practicing Yoga with absolute dependence on Me, you will know Me in entirety and without any shadow of doubt” (1). I shall unfold to you in its entirely this wisdom alongwith the Knowledge of the qualified aspect of God, having known which nothing else remains yet to be known in this world (2). Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, reason and also ego; these constitute My nature eightfold divided. This indeed is My lower (material) nature : the other than this, by which the whole universe is sustained, know it to be My higher nature in the form of Jiva, O Arjuna. (4-5). Arjuna, know that all beings have evolved from this twofold Prakriti, and that I am the source of the entire creation, and into Me again it disappears.(6)
    The Radhasoami Religion also tells that, the ‘Word’ mentioned above is in fact Current of Sound or Current of Consciousness or Prime Current of Spirituality which was issued forth from its Source, or Creator or God. This Current has later on produced light and other forces. The scientists are discussing these days about dark energy which constitute about 96% of the entire universe which is not known to us. Only 4% part of the universe is known to us by all scientific means. In fact this 96% invisible portion of the universe is the vast expanse of spirituality which can be designated as field of gravitational waves in scientific terms. Visible portion of the universe (4%) consists of consciousness (gravitational force), mental force (electromagnetic waves) and material force (strong and weak nuclear force).
    Body = Nuclear Force (weak as well as strong)
    Mind = Electromagnetic Force.
    Consciousness = Gravitation Force.
    According to Radhasoami Religion the whole Universe can be sub-divided into three grand divisions viz.
    1. Region of Pure Spirituality
    2. Region of Subtle Maya
    3. Region of Gross Maya
    Nuclear forces dominate Region of Gross Maya (Gross Material Region), Electro-magnetic forces dominate Region of Subtle Maya (Subtle Material Region) and Gravitational Force dominates Pure Spiritual Region.
    This is the only Truth which can be verified scientifically and can be termed as ‘higher theory for everything’. This also supports the statement of Sir Sahabji Maharaj the goal of science – Truth; the goal of philosophy – Ultimate Reality; and the goal of religion – God are the three names of same supreme essence.
    Many things are common between Current of Consciousness and Gravitational Wave.
    1. Current of consciousness can not be seen by any means and gravitational wave can also not be seen.
    2. Current of consciousness is the weakest force on earth. Its strength goes on increasing on higher regions. Gravitational force is also very weak on earth and strong on Sun and even more stronger on black holes.
    3 Tendency of both current of consciousness and gravitational waves are towards their source or centre.
    4. Current of consciousness and gravitational force are both regarded as the creater of all the celestial and terrestrial bodies of the whole universe. They are also sustainer of these and when they turn back towards their source or centre the whole universe will collapse.
    Hence it can be assumed that the source of current of consciousness and gravitational wave is the same i.e. God or ultimate creator.
    This theory is based on scientific deduction. All other theories appear to be work of imaginative thinking and sometimes do not satisfy the criteria of scientific verification. In scientific terms it can be said that the ‘gravitons’ are the elementary
    particle which was issued forth in the beginning of the creation accompanying with sound ‘Radha’
    =====================================
    Yoga (Application) which was based on the control of the body physically and implied that a perfect control over the body and the senses led to knowledge of the ultimate reality. A detailed anatomical knowledge of the human body was necessary to the advancement of yoga and therefore those practising yoga had to keep in touch with medical knowledge. (Romila Thapar, A History of India, volume one).

    I suggest : Mind and brain are two distinct things. Brain is anatomical entity whereas mind is functional entity. Mind can be defined as the function of autonomic nervous system (ANS). It is claimed that mind can be brought under conscious control through the practice of meditation. But how? ANS is largely under hypothalamic control which is situated very close to optic chiasma (sixth chakra or ajna chakra). Protracted practice of concentration to meditate at this region brings functions of ANS say mind under one’s conscious control.

    ANS is further divided into parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS). On the basis of these facts I have discovered a mathematical relationship for spiritual quotient (S.Q.). Spiritual Quotient can be expressed mathematically as the ratio of Parasympathetic dominance to Sympathetic dominance. PSNS dominates during meditative calm and SNS dominates during stress. In this formula we assign numerical values to the physiological parameters activated or suppressed during autonomic mobilization and put in the formula to describe the state of mind of an individual and also infer his/her level of consciousness.

    Protracted practice of meditation under qualified guidance will help to manage all sort of psychological problems.

    Emotional Quotient can also be expressed mathematically as the product of I.Q. and Wisdom Factor.

    Anirudh Kumar Satsangi

  2. Gopal Says:

    Yoga originated in India about 5000 years ago. Yoga is one of the six Darshanas (Views) of ‘Hindu classical philosophy’ :
    Sankhya
    Yoga
    Nyaya or logics
    Vaisheshika
    Mimamsa
    Vedanta

  3. Peter Says:

    56. Neither by Yoga, nor by Sankhya, nor by work, nor by learning, but by the realisation of one’s identity with Brahman is Liberation possible, and by no other means.

    http://www.shankaracharya.org/vivekachudamani1.php

    🙂

  4. Peter Says:

    Dear Anirudh,

    Our autonomic nervous system (ANS) is controlled by our AUTO-ATMA-SPRIT. The location of ATMA is in our hearts.

    Our brain (Limbic area) is working like a prism to disperse the divine rays in ANS. The aim of mediation is to eliminate PSNS and go beyond gunas, consistent with Bhagavat Gita.

    Gravitation is simply Guru tatwa, attraction of disciples from guru.

  5. Sahaja Says:

    Peter…U have a super blog yourself…I doubt if my little knowledge of Sanskrit would be of any help…But would be glad if I can learn something of this!

  6. Peter Says:

    Sahaji,
    Glad you like it.

    Do not underestimate yourself. Shri Adi Shakti herself is supporting all our efforts and desires.
    🙂

  7. sfauthor Says:

    Nice posting. Do you know about this edition of the Pradipika?

    http://www.YogaVidya.com/hyp.html

  8. Peter Says:

    Yes,
    I like the information about Kundalini.

    In Sahaja yoga we are working only with Kundalini.

  9. Jacob Says:

    Thanks a lot for publishing this article showing differences between two yoga systems! The information that Patanjali never talked about kundalini is an eye opener. Thanks a lot!

  10. Peter Says:

    Patanjali speaks only about chakras.

  11. Yoga is the experimental technique that help us to verify the reality of existence. Yoga is a technique of increasing the depth of our observation. Concernatration, meditation and realisation are the three principal practices of yoga.

    In fact, modern science, what we call physics, speaks in exactly the same way as yoga. Both modern physics and ancient yoga move absolutely parallel to each other in explaining the reality of matter and consciousness. According to Fritjof Capra, “In the Yoga tradition it is said that there are many paths, all leading to spiritual knowledge and Self-Realisation. I believe that modern physics, to some extent, can be such a path. Its view of the universe is in harmony with those of the great yogis and sages. In that sense, I am going to talk of the Yoga of Physics.”

  12. Body, mind and spirit (soul) are interconnected, interrelated and interpenetrating. Entire cosmos (macrocosm) is there in the human body (microcosm). Yoga scriptures say that the prana-shakti or life force called kundalini dwells at the base of the sushumna (spinal column), in the muladhara or bse chakra of each individual from where it controls the entire physiological system through its net work of 72,000 nerves.

    According to David Pond,”The chakras are the store house and transmitters of the universal energy, and each of the chakras represent distinct frequencies within the universe. The energy frequency is the lowest at the Root Chakra (base chakra) and increases when moving towards the Crown Chakra. The chakras are the conduits through which the universal energy flows. The chakras interact with the electromagnetic energy field and transform this into the energy that sustain our lives.”
    Besides these two chakras, there are five more chakras (main chakras). They are swadhisthana, manipura, anahata, vishuddha chakras situated all along the sushumna nadi (spinal cord) and ajna chakra (sixth chakra) situated in the brain region near hypothalamus.

    contd….

  13. Anup Taneja (2009) writes: Within the human body, is contained the entire cosmos. The first five chakras, from muladhara to vishuddha, are the centres of pancha-bhutas or the five elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether. the sixth chakra, ajna, is the seat of the mind, while the seventh, the sahasrara (Crown Chakra) is the seat of supra-causal state of Consciousness.

    He futher writes:Paramhansa Yogananda says, “One-half minute of revolution of energy around the sensitive spinal cord of man effects subtle progress in his evolution; that half-minute kriya yoga equals one year of natural spiritual unfoldment……One thousand kriyas practised in 8.5 hours give the yogi, in one day, the equivalent of 1000 years of natural evolution or 365,000 years of evolution in one year”

    contd….

  14. Based on my recent comments, I now propose a theory. Theoretcal Physics describes four fundamental forces of nature viz., weak nuclear force, strong nuclear force, electromagnetic force and force of gravity. Here we can present an analogy. Weak and strong nuclear forces represent pancha-bhutas or the five elements. Electromagnetic force represents force of current of mind which mainly works through sensory organs and force of gravity represents supra-causal state of Consciousness. We know that during advanced stage of practice of meditation and yoga pancha-bhutas or five elements merge into mind and mind into supra-causal state of Consciousness and ultimately Individual Consciousness merges into Cosmic Consciousness. This is the state of Perfect Bliss or Self-Realization. Likewise during the reverse process of Cosmic Evolution i.e. Perfect Dissolution of the Universe, weak and strong nuclear forces merge into electromagnetic force and electromangnetic force merges into force of gravity.

    In the beginning, the enetire Creation came into existence from this Single Force Current which later on manifested into many force currents during the process of Cosmic Evolution.

  15. Gravitation Force is the Ultimate Creator, this paper I presented at the 1st Int. Conf. on Revival of Traditional Yoga, held at The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India), Lonavla, Pune in 2006. The Abstract of this paper is given below:

    The Universe includes everything that exists. In the Universe there are billions and billions of stars. These stars are distributed in the space in huge clusters. They are held together by gravitation and are known as galaxies. Sun is also a star. Various members of the solar system are bound to it by gravitation force. Gravitation force is the ultimate cause of birth and death of galaxy, star and planets etc. Gravitation can be considered as the cause of various forms of animate and inanimate existence. Human form is superior to all other forms. Withdrawal of gravitational wave from some plane of action is called the death of that form. It can be assumed that gravitation force is ultimate creator. Source of it is ‘God’. Gravitational Field is the supreme soul (consciousness) and its innumerable points of action may be called as individual soul (consciousness). It acts through body and mind. Body is physical entity. Mind can be defined as the function of autonomic nervous system. Electromagnetic waves are its agents through which it works. This can be realized through the practice of meditation and yoga under qualified meditation instruction. This can remove misunderstanding between science and religion and amongst various religions. This is the gist of all religious teachings – past, present and future.

  16. Deepak Ranade (2009) writes in his article, “Is Realisation Nothing More Than a Chemical Reaction?” :

    There has been speculation of whether there exists in the brain a God centre. A reseracher revealed that when a person was subjected to pain stimulus before and after being shown the picture of a deity he had faith in, his tolerance to pain was significantly better than it was before seeing the picture. Whichever deity one believes in , the final locus of God in the brain remains the same.

    Then theoretically, if this God centre were to be stimulated, one could experience calm, bliss, even ecstasy. This implies that all spiritually advanced souls have, over a period of time, been able to device an intrinsic mechanism to stimulate the God centre.

    All spiritually advanced masters are just those who, by repeated practice, develop the God centre further so that it can be stimulated at will. That would reduce realisation to a mere neurochemical phenomenon. It would then have some tangible parameters for either localisation or verification.

  17. Ranade further writes: Meditation could be just a process that converts all eccentric thought processes into a concentric pattern with the God centre as the epicentre. All thoughts pertaining to mundane activities may be eccentric in nature. These eccentric pattern would be a deterrent to stimulating the God Centre. Most explanations given by realised masters seem to defy all logic, which is the domain of the dominant hemisphere. The non-dominant hemisphere is concerned with intuitive and non-analytical networks.

    So maybe, the God centre reside in the non-dominant hemisphere and realisation could effect a state of awareness that transcends the baseline neuronal activity of just being conscious. The advent of functional imaging technique like the MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) may assist in the verification of such hypothesis. Probably, realisation could then be imaged and anatomically localised.

    Maybe, then godhood would a neurochemical alteration in the milleu of the neuronal networks, resulting in a perceptive variance. And spiritual progress could be monitored by an imaging modality.

    Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari (1975) writes in his article “The Fundamentals of Yoga”: “Where the entire Medical Sciences accept their inability to explain, therefrom Yoga just starts. Further on, the perfection ofPranayama (breath regulation) has been described. Pranayama is supreme of all the practices of Yoga. The perfection in all the higher practices of Yoga can be achieved through it. Pranayama alone is termed as Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (enlightenment) at different stages of augmentation, for pratyahara is twelve times pranayama, dharana is twelve times pratyahara, dhyana is twelve times dharana and samadhi is twelve times dhyana. When the Yogin acquires the capacity of holding the breath for fifty seconds with due application of three bandhas then the prana starts ascending the cerebrum, when the prana, ascended to the cerebrum, stays there for ten minutes, withdrawal of senses is achieved, when it stays there for two hours, concentration is achieved, when it stays there for 24 hours, meditation is achieved, and when it stays there for twelve days enlightenment dawns up

    Swami Dhirendra Brahmachari further writes: “A scientist had recently come from America who said if a person could lower his temperature by 1 degree his life could be prolonged by about 25 years. He had experimented on fishes. Now if it was to be experimented on Yoga it is obvious that Yoga cannot be taught to fish or to any other animals. First he approached Kaivalyadhama. They could not demonstrate it. So they directed him to be in touch with us. I practised and demonstrated the lowering of temperature to the extent of 2 degrees on the very first day. In their terms, it would mean that on that day itself my life span increased by 50 years. Ordinarily, a man breathes 15 times per minute. It is reduced through Yoga practice, longevity is achieved. There are Yogins who by practice could reduce it to 5 breaths per minute. It is believed that a healthy man can live for 100-125 years. These days also, you might have heard about the persons who live for even longer duration. Now if a man who has developed full control over his prana, mind and seminal fluid and can reduce his breath to 5 per minute, it may be possible for him to live up to 300 years.”

  18. Now I come to deal with Spiritual Quotient (S.Q.), the term which was first coined by Danah Johar . Although she dealt with this very important aspect of Spirituality very well, she did not explain any mathematical relationship for this. She ends up with describing only Spiritual Intelligence of an individual. Anything which deserves to be called as ‘Quotient’ needs to show some sort of mathematical relationship as Wilhelm Stern did for Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.). Stern described I.Q. in terms of Mental Age and Chronological Age whereas I did this for S.Q. in terms of Parasympathetic dominance to sympathetic dominance. Parasympathetic nervous system and sympathetic nervous system are the two parts of autonomic nervous system (ANS) which is largely under the control of hypothalamus. That is why we need to have some idea about central and peripheral nervous system.

  19. B.K. Anand (1975) writes in his article “Yoga and Medical Sciences” “On the physical functioning of the body various types of yogic kriyas or exercises do result in an improvement of such functioning of the different structures in the body, whether these may belong to the muscular system, or respiratory system, or the cardio-vascular system, or the activities of the gastro-intestinal system and so on. Yogabhyas results in improvement of certain body functions through its influence on the nervous system, both central and peripheral…..functioning of the body is so much dependent on the optimum functioning of the central nervous system,….the most important structure required for the maintenance of the normal homeostatic condition in the body is the central nervous system operating through its peripheral nerves. This is achieved more through the functioning of the autonomic nervous system rather than of the somatic nervous system.”

  20. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi Says:

    Life in Western society is complex and often tension filled. Hour by hour , day by day, the autonomic nervous system is mobilised to help us deal with the interpersonal and impersonal stresses we encounter. Autonomic mobilisation is the basis of psychosomatic. We should reverse the autonomic mobilistation.

    Psychologists have been interested themselves in the age old practice of meditation. Yoga might be described as a condition of inner tranquility. Practitioners of Yoga have dramatically reduced heart rates and breathing rates. Their EEG patterns are altered in ways indicative of relaxation. The consumption of the oxygen by the body decreases, the resistance of the skin to the passage of a weak electrical current rises (a sign of relaxation), and the blood flow in muscles increases. The level of lactic acid in the blood drops considerably during meditation.

  21. In the above comments I have mentioned accurate physiological measurements by Wallace and Benson (1972) on people who meditate. Besides awareness of reality of existence at spiritual level practice of Yoga also brings about emotional stability at physical level. Autonomic changes have been the primary focus of attention on bodily changes in emotion. It has been found during experimentation that there are different patterns of autonomic activity in the different emotional states. For instance, the sympathetic nervous system seems to be more active in fear – although fear involves parasympathetic activity also.

    In fear, the blood vessels serving the stomach, intestines, and interior of the body tend to contract, while those serving the exterior muscles of the trunk and limbs tend to become larger. In this way the sympathetic system diverts blood from digestive functions to muscular function . At the same time, nervous impulses to the heart make it beat harder and faster, the blood pressure goes up and the pulse rate quickened. Thus blood in more quantity is pumped through the circulatory system to the muscles. In emotions such as sadness, the parasympathetic system seems to dominate. As for anger and joy both branches of autonomic system are strongly active simultaneously.

  22. The endocrine glands who play an important role and are in turn under the control of the autonomic nervous system. ANS is largely under hypothalamic control. Proper ‘conditioning’ of the higher nervous system can maintain normal homeostatic conditions. Scientific investigations conducted have provided evidence that by certain types of yogic practice having meditative components, can influence the mechanisms which are ultimately responsible for the homeostasis in the body. Some of the yogic practices result in a more balanced equilibrium in the functioning of the autonomic nervous system. Long continued meditation result in ‘conditioning’ of those higher nervous regions which control the visceral functions.

  23. It is well known that any kind of stress, whether physical or mental brings about conditions which are not conducive to the normal optimal functioning of the autonomic nervous system gradually resulting in sympathetic dominance . This results in gradual rise in blood pressure, acceleration of heart rate to certain level, increased metabolic activities, respiratory changes, gastro-intestinal changes even resulting ultimately in ulcers and various other changes indicative of imbalanced increased sympathetic activity. Certain types of Yogic Practice (including transcendental meditation) tend to bring about a better balanced equilibrium in the autonomic responses, thus gradually diminishing the sympathetic dominance and resulting in a more balanced equilibrium between the sympathetic and parasympathetic. It we can further shift this balance even slightly more towards the parasympathetic dominance, then we have achieved the desired results. (B.K.Anand, 1975)

  24. Anand further writes: In such studies the result of Yogabhyas have to be assessed very carefully; because if an individual’s response is already on the sympathetic dominance side, then he or she will show more pronounced effects of yogic practice; if however, he is already showing a more balanced equilibrium between the sympathetic and parasympathetic activities, naturally the changes observed by yogic practice will be less marked.

    This would easily explain that such yogic practices would produce more pronounced effects in those cultures where the stresses and strains result in a more marked sympathetic dominance and these effects will not be so apparent in other cultures where such stresses do not operate to that level.

  25. Anand suggests : “It is, therefore, very essential that before conducting such scientific investigations on those practicing Yogabhyas of any type, studies be first carried out on them to establish base line data for determining their autonomic balance. If the balance is already normal, the much effects of the Yogabhyas may not be observed. If, however, the curve is on the sympathetic side, then there is more chance of observing the good balancing effects of yogic practice.”

  26. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi Says:

    Based on these studies and other related descriptions I have formulated a mathematical relationship for the Spiritual Quotient (S.Q.). In this relationship, S.Q. is denoted as the ratio of parasympathetic dominance to sympathetic dominance. Since success in accurate physiological measurements during sympathetic dominance and parasympathetic dominance have already been achieved, we can assign numerical values to them and can predict level of S.Q. in mathematical terms.

    I thank you very much for giving me an excellent opportunity for recording my comments at your blog site. The efforts made by persons like you will certainly give way to quantitative study of esoteric qualities and remove misconception about religious matters.

    The whole work is dedicated to my Most Revered Guru, His Holiness Dr. M.B. Lal Sahab who had once said in 1968: “Sir Alister Hardy, who was a renowned Professor of Zoology at Oxford University has written in one of his recent books that if vigorous research is conducted on spiritual matters it may be possible to establish God is both a scientific and philosophical reality.”

  27. John Says:

    Hello Again.

    I did not know that you had a section on Patanjali.

    For those who are old Sahaja Yogis, you may remember that back then Sri Mataji used to tell us our past lives.
    The reincarnation of Patanjali came to Sahaja Yoga in the late 70s and I believe is still in it.
    Sri Mataji has asked him many times to write books about Sahaja Yoga, but now, more than 30 years later, he still has not.
    Perhaps he wrote enough in his previous birth, or perhaps there are already enough aspiring Sahaj writers who “need a chance”.
    Anyway, this yogi goes into such deep meditations that even when the meetings are over and everyone is talking loudly, he still does not come out of it.
    I would love to read his book if he ever writes one.

  28. John Says:

    Hello Peter,

    I should probably ask him first.

    You can email me offline – bear with me as I travel a lot and may take some time to reply.

    He was one of only 2 Sahaja Yogis who saw/experienced Her as Adi Shakti in full form (the other died years ago). Apparently he had “tasted” God-Realisation for a few days, but was pulled out of it by Mother to do Her work here.

  29. I think you want to know about my previous birth. Kindly read comments as below:

    My most Revered Guru of my previous life His Holiness Maharaj Sahab, 3rd Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith had revealed this secret to me during trance like state.
    HE told me, “Tum Sarkar Sahab Ho” (You are Sarkar Sahab). Sarkar Sahab was one of the most beloved disciple of His Holiness Maharj Sahab. Sarkar Sahab later on became Fourth Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith
    Since I don’t have any direct realization of it so I can not claim the extent of its correctness. But it seems to be correct. During my previous birth I wanted to sing the song of ‘Infinite’ but I could not do so then since I had to leave the mortal frame at a very early age. But through the unbounded Grace and Mercy of my most Revered Guru that desire of my past birth is being fulfilled now.

  30. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi Says:

    Deepak Chopra has given a formula of spiritual quotient in terms of Deed (D) and Ego (E). According to Deepak Chopra S.Q.=D/E. According to him if E is ‘zero’ the S.Q. will be infinite. This appears to be very fascinating but it is highly abstract which can not be measured experimentally accurately and precisely. However, this formula has immense value to understand S.Q.
    I have also discovered a mathematical relationship for S.Q about eight years back in 2001. I have used physiological parameters which can be measured accurately and precisely and can be tested and verified experimentally. According to this formula S.Q. can be expressed as the ratio of parasympathetic dominance (P.D.) to sympathetic dominance (S.D.). Parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS) are the two parts of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which is largely under hypothalamic control. Hypothalamus is situated very close to the Sixth Chakra. During practice of meditation at Sixth Chakra these centres are galvanised which has very positive effect on practitioners spiritual, emotional, psychological and physiscal well being

  31. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi Says:

    There are various types of meditation available, which are being practiced by sages, saints, seers and others. The difference in various versions lies in the fact that these practice involve concentration to meditate at different centres known as Chakra in Yoga System. These chakras are, in fact, energy centres which correspond to nerve centres distributed along the spinal column and in brain region.

    Some practitioners start to meditate at Basic/Root Chakra (Muladhara) – situated at the base of spine, some at Heart Chakra (Anahata Chakra), some at Ajna Chakra – Optic Chiasma – Master Chakra and some from even higher centres situated in the brain region. Among all these types of meditation, practice at sixth chakra is considered to be the most ideal which brings about optimum results.

    Sixth Chakra is situated very close to hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a portion of brain that contains a number of small nuclei with a variety of functions. One of the most important function of the hypothalamus is to link nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary glands.

    Autonomic nervous system (ANS) is largely under hypothalamic control. ANS consists of parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS). PSNS is activated during meditative calm and during stress SNS is activated. When PSNS is activated, heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure decreased. Supply of blood in the digestive tract increased. When SNS is activated heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure increased. Supply of blood to the muscles and exterior organs increased and to the digestive tract decreased. In addition to these, there are many other parameters which can be compared. Parasympathetic Dominance (P.D.) is the state of PSNS activation and Sympathetic Dominance (S.D.) is the state of SNS activation. Instruments are available in medical science to measure these parameters.

    Now we can assign numerical value to each parameter. Then put the value in the formula for S.Q. and see the result. We can show the calculation as mentioned below:

    S.Q.= P.D./S.D. = Σ X / Σ Y
    Where X=x1+x2+x3+ …….
    And Y=y1+y2+y3+…….

    During PSNS activation (P.D.), we assign ‘1’ to each parameter (x1+x2+x3+…..) and ‘0’ to each parameter (y1+y2+y3+…..). During SNS activation (S.D.), we assign ‘1’ to each parameter (y1+y2+y3+…) and ‘0’ to each parameter (x1+x2+x3+….).

    By putting the numerical value, thus achieved, in the above formula for S.Q. we can calculate the Spiritual Quotient of an individual.


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